I have a hard time knowing how to feel about this game. Obviously, there’s an undercurrent of great excitement, as it’s FOOTBALL SEASON and this is only the second game of said season. But, should I be nervous about a matchup against a quick-tempo offense on the road? Or, should I be cocky, because we’re the champs and so obviously the best team in football?
By all rights, the Seahawks SHOULD win this game. I don’t know about covering point spreads and all that, but at the end of the day the Seahawks should have at least one more point than the other team. You could realistically say that every week and you wouldn’t be crazy.
But, wonky shit happens. Like, for instance, let me take you back to a few weeks ago when me and my friends had our fantasy football draft. I was fortunate enough to have the number one draft pick. Since this is a 2-QB, 2-Keeper PPR league, I had my quarterback position set and all I needed to do was bust out with the skill position players that remained. The best player – in my estimation, for fantasy purposes – was Jimmy Graham. So, I took him #1. And, as it’s a snake draft – like I assume most of you have to deal with – since I picked first, I didn’t get to pick again until the 20th & 21st picks. Not gonna lie to you, A LOT of good players went off the board in those first 19 picks. But, I still managed to wrangle in Alfred Morris and Keenan Allen.
That last name might sound familiar. No, this isn’t an excuse for me to recap the entirety of my fantasy football draft; I’m here to tell you that I think SO HIGHLY of one Keenan Allen and his potential to be a star in this league, that I made him the very first wide receiver chosen for my fantasy football team. And yet, this week, I’m benching Allen in favor of T.Y. Hilton’s matchup against the Eagles, because I don’t think Allen is going to be someone worth starting.
So, if I feel so strongly about benching a really good player, I MUST have a pretty strong feeling about the Seahawks winning this game!
And you’d be right. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t nagging doubts burrowing into my guts. Keenan Allen will have the freedom to move all around the field, so it’s not like he’s going to have Richard Sherman locking him down like he did Patrick Peterson last week. It wouldn’t shock me in the slightest to see Allen rip off 10 receptions for over 100 yards and really make me look like a fucking idiot. Nevertheless, the rest of that Seahawks defense is pretty great, so even IF Allen gets his share of targets and receptions, I highly doubt he’s going to reach the endzone.
As for San Diego as a whole, I’m nervous. When Philip Rivers gets on a roll, he’s the most unstoppable quarterback in the league. I don’t remember the last time I’ve ever seen a quarterback get as hot as Rivers in a game – MAYBE Kurt Warner, but it’s rare. That isn’t to say that Rivers is one of the greatest of all time. Maybe in San Diego history, but not in NFL history, that’s for damn sure. When Rivers ISN’T on a hot streak, he generally looks befuddled and makes bad decisions. Not to the point of a Jay Cutler or a Tony Romo, but not too far off either.
Aside from Allen, I don’t really like their skill position players. Antonio Gates is washed up and should easily be locked down by one of our linebackers. Malcom Floyd is tall, but he’s not particularly speedy. He fits right into that mold of receiver that our cornerbacks – Sherman and Maxwell – can dominate. Ryan Matthews is nothing special at running back. Danny Woodhead is the NFL equivalent of one of those try-hard, gritty white guys in baseball. He’s football’s Willie Bloomquist.
Of course, none of that matters if Rivers gets going. We’ve got to find a way to harass him on a consistent basis.
For the Seahawks, I think this game is going to shed a light on what this team is really capable of. Defensively, will this game prove that we’ve taken a step back from our crazy heights of 2013? Or, will it show that we’ve still got it and we’re still the best in the game? Offensively, will we be able to take our show on the road? It’s one thing to be at home and line up Percy Harvin all over the field and have him running around, driving defenses crazy. You’re comfortable there. Mistakes are mitigated at home, whereas they’re compounded on the road. I think this offense has the ability to be truly great and to average over 30 points per game. But, if we’re going to be great, we have to be able to do that anywhere.
San Diego is the perfect team to play, in a lot of ways. They’re good, but not great. It’s a road game, but it’s not that far away. They made the playoffs last year and know what it takes to succeed, but they were never really a serious contender and it’s tough to think they’re one this year either. They’ve got a good quarterback and a young, tricky defense. If we shut them down on both sides of the ball, we look like a juggernaut. If we struggle and win in a close game, it’s somewhat to be expected because of all the aforementioned positives surrounding the Chargers in this game. If we lose, well, then we’ll know where we’re deficient and what we need to work on.
But, I really don’t think we’ll lose. And that’s what makes this game REALLY exciting. Beating up on the dregs of the league has its moments; you generally get to enjoy a relaxing – somewhat boring – afternoon of football. But, beating the good ones? Really pounding it in that we’re the best and you’re not even in our league? That’s taking bliss to another level.
If I could, I’d leapfrog today and tomorrow and make it Sunday morning right now.